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Downtown Bars Choose Sides Over Drunk Santas

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New York City is a week away from the commencement of the horror that is SantaCon, and while the event organizers have promised a more orderly Saturday of drunken yahoos terrorizing the city, bar owners and managers are on both sides of the fence about participating in the event. Grassroots Tavern co-owner Douglas Bunton remembers his first SantaCon experience, when "a crowd of people came in and were chanting, 'Santa Claus doesn't pay! We're a charity!' And then a guy poked me with his candy cane — and that was that." Now he says they just lock the door until the crowd moves on. Similarly, Rich Corton, who co-owns Josie's, Mona's, and Sophie's bars says that his staff aggressively lobbies to not have to work during SantaCon, saying that no one wants to deal with the participants who swarm the bar for an hour and are known to be not great tippers.

There are some bars that are much more welcoming to the Santa swarm. The always controversial owner of Continental, Trigger, says he has been a fan of the event since day one, and he will continue to welcome the Santas to his bar as long as they aren't visibly intoxicated, and Bull McCabe's on St. Marks is also willing to accept the customers that their neighbors at Grassroots are turning away, noting that the Santas usually are pretty great tippers.

The event organizers are also stressing their code of conduct for participants, reminding everyone that "Santa spreads JOY. Not terror. Not vomit. Not trash," and "Santa stays safe. Santa does not drink more than Santa can handle. Doing so endangers Santa's self, Santa's friends, and the future of Santacon." Somehow we doubt that last part.
· SantaCon Begone! [TheVillager]
· SantaCon Coverage [~ENY~]

Grassroots Tavern

20 St. Marks Pl, New York, NY

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